The Tennessee Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation (SAVE) Coalition is designed for individuals with experience and training in building design and construction, to assess buildings and vertical structures for safety and/or occupancy following disasters in the state of Tennessee.

A Message from TNSAVE's President

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi.

Volunteering is food for the soul. It makes me feel good and recharges my batteries. But if you are like me, finding time to volunteer can be a challenge, particularly when you are raising a family. I coached some of my daughter’s sport teams and spent a number of years actively serving in the American Society of Civil Engineers. However, it was not until after my daughter graduated from college and moved away from home that I started to ponder the question of how I should give back. I remember speaking with my wife about it and not really finding a satisfactory answer. Fortunately, TNSAVE found me.

What is it that makes TNSAVE such a unique opportunity for volunteerism? Imagine having your home damaged during a tornado or earthquake? For many, this will be one of the worst days of their life. People finding themselves in such circumstances want to get back into their homes to have a place to rest, to get their clothes and other belongings or to preserve many items of the highest sentimental value. TNSAVE volunteers help people during these dark moments. We use our education and experience as building design and construction professionals, plus training on inspection procedures received during our day-long seminars to determine if a structure is safe to enter. If the building is unsafe, we may be keeping the victims of these catastrophes from harm’s way and if the building is safe or at least partially useable, we get them back on the path to recovery.

For TNSAVE volunteers, the time preparing to serve is minimal. You simply attend a 1-day seminar (and get 7 professional development hours to boot). In case of a disaster and we call you to serve, you decide when you can serve or even if you can serve during that event at all. This provides maximum flexibility to you in deciding when you volunteer.

If you are already a member of TNSAVE and have attended our 1-day seminar, we thank you for getting involved and we ask you to help us recruit additional members. If you are thinking about joining TNSAVE, I can’t think of a better way for you to, “…lose yourself in the service of others.”

Rick Heckel | President

Rick Heckel is a geotechnical engineer and Principal with Ardent Geotechnical Consultants LLC based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has 35 years of professional experience, is licensed in 18 states, and has been awarded a Diploma in Geotechnical Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Specific focus areas in his practice include airports, roads, dams, landfills and forensics. Mr. Heckel also has served as a senior manager with two different consulting firms leading up to 500 people with annual fees exceeding $50 million. He serves on ASTM Committee D18 on Soil and Rock and Chairs the Geotechnical Business Council of the Geoprofessional Business Association. Mr. Heckel has been active in TNSAVE since 2015 and developed the 1-day seminar the organization uses to train and certify volunteers. He is the current President of TNSAVE.

RJ Tazelaar, P.E. | Training Director

RJ Tazelaar is a structural engineer with Gresham Smith in Nashville, Tennessee. He has 23 years of professional experience and is licensed in 9 states. Areas of practice include hospitals, commercial office and retail buildings, as well as industrial and environmental structures. He serves as the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee Structural Engineers Association, and has been active in TNSAVE since 2016. He is currently the Training Director of TNSAVE.


The organization's finances remain lean. The sole source of funding for our operations continues to be our training program, led by volunteer instructors. These courses each net a small variable profit after we take into consideration the instructor's proximity for mileage and lodging, meals, printing, etc.

The organization's only recurring costs currently are for webhosting. At the Board's February 2019 meeting, the Board agreed to begin investing in a cost-effective communication strategy that jointly can utilize both email campaigns as well as text messaging alerts. An outstanding request from some members to provide liability insurance is still being considered, but would greatly constrain the organization as it is currently funded.

Donations on behalf of the organization will help to offset some of the above expenses as we continue to look for ways to supplement funding and become a more financially sustainable organization.

Clinton R. Camp | Treasurer and Secretary


Clint is a native to East Nashville, who started his career working in the family structural moving business. Through that work on weekends and summers he learned the basics of the development and construction industries, encouraging him to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) in 2004 and then a Master’s of Engineering Degree with a focus in Construction Management from Vanderbilt University in 2009. He met his wife, Janey, at TTU and reconnected while both were in graduate school at Vanderbilt. Now, they enjoy spending time with their two young children, Eliza and Samuel, along with two dogs and call the Inglewood area of East Nashville home. In his spare time, Clint enjoys volunteering with the Inglewood Neighborhood Association and helping with its annual charity golf tournament, in addition to serving on his fraternity’s alumni association board of directors and volunteering with Rebuilding Together Nashville, along with spending time with his family and perfecting his barbequing skills.